Stat City Crawl Manchester & iAB Search Trends Seminar

Stat City Crawl Manchester & iAB Search Trends Seminar

John Campbell • 01/05/2018

Last week was a busy week at ROAST as we had two speaking engagements and released our latest voice search white papers.


First up was a visit to Manchester to speak at the Stat City Crawl Manchester at the iconic Whitworth Art Gallery. It’s the second time we’ve spoken at a Stat City Crawl event and it was a pleasure to be asked to return.

A slightly different format from other “conference” events, it takes place on a work night, food is provided and then there are four talks from agencies / in-house SEO teams. All the ticket sales go to a local charity, in the UK Stat picked Code Club UK.  In this year’s Crawl the tour visited San Diego, Vancouver, New York and Manchester, we picked Manchester to speak at!

Alexander Darwin – twentysix

Alexander spoke about what your links say about your website, there was good examples of finding spam backlinks with misspellings, a comparison of the various link index tools for conducting your audit and ways to assess your site on an ongoing basis.

Derek Gleason – Workshop Digital

Derek’s impressive talk was about how SEO working with brands has evolved over time and how to approach SEO for brands. There were some very smart ways to visualise user demand and rankings which would help you understand the requirement for content marketing. A very slick presentation with great thinking interwoven into patents from Google.

Laura Hampton – Impression Digital

Laura spoke about her work on marketing Impression Digital. The campaigns over the years, how they have evolved as the size of the company changed and the result from that work. It was interesting to compare the approach of another company to ours, the tactics used and times they have pushed out into the industry with a view point on a specific topic.

John Campbell – ROAST

Finally I spoke about Voice Search, an overview of the market at the moment, things that marketers could be doing now, creating actions, using the SDK, possible paid options in the future and then onto the findings from our Voice Search Ranking Reports which we ran on 22 verticals.

You can download the vertical voice search reports from our website.


More information from the day can be found over at



With one conference done the team then jumped back on the train down to London for the iAB Search Trends Seminar.

This time a little more of a conventional session with 8 speakers in one afternoon at the iAB’s Event and Training space just around the corner from us in Holborn.




Peter Giles – Google

Peter spoke about how automation in PPC will change the role of the PPC team in the coming years, but also about how account structures might need to change to get the most out of Google’s automation tools in the future.

Mark Williams – iCrossing

Mark spoke about integrations between PPC and SEO, explaining how using a consumer first approach can bring both teams closer together in serving a client.

Nick Beck – Tug

Nick injected some energy in the room talking about how humans will always be a part of marketing and explaining ways to get the best out of those working on accounts. Nick also showed some good examples of elevating search data and insights to inform bigger brand and ATL decisions.

Louisa Mennell – Mindshare

Louisa and I shared a 30-minute slot to talk about voice search. Louise spoke about how various factors that have developed over the years has brought us to this point in time where voice search is breaking through into the mainstream. Data from research Mindshare conducted show how our brain functions while performing a normal web search in comparison to a voice search; it turns out a Voice Search is much less taxing. The second half focused on practical elements brands need to think about when developing for voice.

John Campbell – ROAST

Following on from Louisa I spoke about specific actions brands could be taking on voice, and once again gave an overview of the results of the vertical voice search reports.

Jenifer Branley and Andrea Haaser – Performics

Jenifer and Andrea spoke about SEO integrating with PPC. Some of the tactics they use and where search should sit in the planning for a campaign.

Kerstin Reichert – TSB

Kerstin who works at TSB explained to us all about featured snippets, how they worked, how to create them, the benefits and voice search implications.

Darius Carne and Piotr Lobaczewski Bing

The last talk of the afternoon was from Bing who showcased some example of AI and Machine Learning that are already live on Bing. The image search function being the pick of the bunch.

The iAB host multiple events over the year, head over to to see future events.